cover image Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture

Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture

Andy Cohen. Holt, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9583-8

TV producer Cohen, an Emmy winner for Top Chef, is the host of Watch What Happens: Live. As Bravo’s executive vice president of original programming and development, he oversees production of The Real Housewives franchise, The Millionaire Matchmaker, and other series. In this lively memoir, he begins by telling us more than we need to know about his pop culture–obsessed childhood in St. Louis. In high school, where he was voted most talkative, he was popular, but “no one knew I was gay.” A full chapter is devoted to the “terror” of coming out to his parents and Boston College roommate. A 1989 sophomore high school class project prompted him to interview his idol, Susan Lucci, a plus when he applied for a CBS internship. Beginning at CBS This Morning, he was on his way. When he arrived at Bravo, he found the ideal venue for mingling with top talents. Riding the wave of reality programming as it began to dominate TV, he now asks, “Had I helped kill soaps?” There’s enough about his lifelong obsession with Susan Lucci that can distract. Others will be amused by Cohen’s ramblings about how his wicked wit and “lighthearted cultural commentary” brought him media attacks and embarrassing headlines. Still, many will appreciate his straightforward honesty in delivering an insider’s POV about reality TV with intimate and outrageous glimpses of housewives and celebrities, offscreen and on. (May 8)